A Company Offers an Alternative to Food Waste at The Supermarket Level


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An estimated 80 billion pounds of food is wasted in the United States each year. Most of that, 43%, is in consumers’ homes. Almost (40%) at the retail level (restaurants, food service, groceries). Around 30% of that retail segment is in grocery stores – a staggering £9.6bn a year. The term used is “leftover groceries,” which includes produce that is about to expire or nearing its expiration date, fresh produce that is in a state of spoilage, and items that are damaged or endangered. The estimated value of this category of food waste is twice the amount of profit from the food sold. The grocery industry is clearly concerned about this loss and looking for solutions.

The best option would be to reduce the rate of generation of food surpluses, and the next best option would be to give food to those in need. Stores can often partner with food kitchens or other charities to facilitate this process. The third best option is to find ways to use this surplus human food to feed animals, but this is not an easy connection that can be achieved from an urban setting. A new company, Do Good Foods, addresses this limitation by creating a network to collect non-contributory food from stores, process it, and then use it as part of the feed on poultry farms. They then market chicken products under their “Do Good Chicken” brand.

Do Good Foods co-founder Justin Kamine has 12 years of experience in the solar energy industry and comes from a family involved in various businesses, including natural gas cogeneration and telecommunications. He started this company with a desire to solve grocery store food waste.

His company is making arrangements with supermarket chains to place collection boxes in their stores for food that is still good but unsaleable, including a container for meat that is past its expiration date and a box for products that are not in good condition. marketable longer. Store employees are responsible for sorting and take this role very seriously. Do Good Foods comes to pick up the boxes every few days and brings them to its processing plant, which was built at a cost of $170 million. There, the food is sterilized at 165 F for two hours and ground, blended and dried using standard industrial equipment. The company buys all the renewable credits to use them for electricity.

Their processed product is mixed with other ingredients as needed to make the perfect chicken feed, then they work with farmer partners to raise chickens in cage-free environments. Then, each ready-to-use Do Good Chicken saves about four pounds of surplus food from being thrown away, preventing the release of nearly three pounds of greenhouse gases (CO2e).

Do Good Foods recently raised $169 million from investment firm Nuveen. Sam Cass, a former Obama administration senior nutrition policy adviser, is its chief strategy officer, and former US Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman is an adviser. Celebrity chef Tom Colicchio is also a consultant serving Do Good Chicken at his restaurants.

In terms of marketing, Do Good Chicken surveyed consumers and found that 90% are concerned about food waste, 71% are more likely to buy recycled food once they learn about the process and its benefits, and 85% are more likely to buy from a food. grocery store that reduces waste. With this in mind, they are marketing under the name Do Good Chicken with ways for consumers to get a basic story on how chickens are raised and how this helps address the issue of waste in retail.

Do Good Foods’ initial plant in Pennsylvania opened on Earth Day in 2022 and processes surplus from 450 stores at a rate of 160 tons per day. In its first six months of operation, Do Good Chicken reportedly diverted 10 million pounds of surplus food from landfills, preventing some 950 metric tons of greenhouse gases (CO2e) from entering the atmosphere. They currently sell Do Good Chicken in more than 550 stores ranging from Minnesota to Washington, D.C. and Colorado.


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